"She Recruited Facebook Friends To Save Gulf Coast's Hermit Crabs"

"Grand Isle, LA. -- Leanne Sarco remembers the day she discovered oil in her lagoons. On the first day, a sheen appeared on the ocean water. The sheen grew thicker and wider, until by the end of the week it became clear that this wildlife preserve at Grand Isle State Park, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the fragile barrier islands of Louisiana, was in peril. ...

Soon it became obvious that her job running a summer program for children would be canceled because of the contaminated beaches at Grand Isle. So Sarco asked her manager at the Louisiana Office of State Parks a simple question: "Can I pick up the crabs and clean them" instead?

She assembled a small army to help. Since May, Sarco and about 150 volunteers from as far away as California and Quebec have collected about 7,000 crabs, scrubbed them of oil, and released them into a saltwater marsh about 15 miles inland.

After asking local friends to pitch in, Sarco turned to Facebook and put out a call to the world. People soon began to arrive, strangers who came to help, some even sleeping on her couch for weeks."

Mark Guarino reports for the Christian Science Monitor / October 4, 2010

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010